Azerbaijan fighting misrepresentation of its occupied territories on maps

Azerbaijan continues activities to prevent the misrepresentation of its territories, occupied by Armenia, on maps, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers informed.

According to the press service, such misrepresentation cases were revealed on the websites of international and non-governmental organizations, foreign companies, and other structures. As a result of working with the organizations, the use of distorted maps has been eliminated.

As part of the taken measures, references to the illegal regime established in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan were removed from some maps, and the names of many of the settlements, including Shusha and Khankendi, were correctly amended. In order to facilitate measures to ensure the correct indication of the Azerbaijani territories and toponyms and to prevent possible distortions, an ‘Action plan for preventing the use of distorted maps of Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia’ was approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated February 20, 2020.

In accordance with the plan, intensive work is underway to develop electronic maps (digital, interactive, and high-precision) that meet international standards, with the correct indication of the geographical names of Azerbaijan, create an alternative platform (Internet resource) for being integrated into international platforms.

The intensive work is also conducted on elaborating a policy for the formation of open national data, establishing ties with mapping organizations, creating an electronic database meeting the national transliteration standard (accurate transmission of signs of one script by signs of another script), which indicates the geographical names of Azerbaijan in different languages, the involvement of youth and diaspora organizations in the work to eliminate distortions in maps posted on Internet platforms.

Within the taken measures, special attention is paid to strengthening the role of Azerbaijani youth and volunteer organizations, students of the local and foreign universities, in preventing cases of misrepresenting Azerbaijani toponyms of the occupied territories on the maps published on different Internet platforms, as well as in the more active promotion of Azerbaijani realities in social networks and Internet sites.

For the above aims, working groups have been created, and regular measures are taken to file complaints with international platforms and to organize protests in social networks in connection with cases of distortion. Through Azerbaijani diplomatic missions and diaspora organizations abroad, successful steps are being taken to prevent the use of maps and other materials that misrepresent the territory of Azerbaijan, at events held in other countries, and to raise awareness of the organizers on this issue.

Moreover, on the basis of the GIS (Geographic Information System) software, the respective electronic database has been created, giving information about the boundaries of administrative districts, names and boundaries of cities, district centers, and other settlements of Azerbaijan.

Jointly with the private sector, there are conducted activities to transform the GIS database into an open data format. In the original version in Russian and English, the names of 4,590 cities, districts, settlements, villages, and administrative-territorial units of the country were prepared.

Urgent measures are also being taken to strengthen control over the import of visual aids into Azerbaijan (including books, notebooks, globes, magazines, newspapers, brochures, papers, and electronic media), reflecting false information about the territorial integrity of the country, and to eliminate the identified cases.

Work to prevent misrepresented references to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan will continue.


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